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Hey guys,

I have a newbie question that has me stumped.

Some background...

I currently have a "in the box" system which I bought about 1-2 years ago. It is an inexpensive 6:1 Sony HT-5950DP bought at Costco for around 400 bucks. The system supposedly has around 815W power (110w x 6 plus Subwoofer 155w). I recently got the upgrade bug mainly because I'd like something a bit louder and am not very happy with the 4 inch sized speakers that came with the system.

I was told that upgrading this system is pretty much useless (as far as upgrading speakers) and i should just get a new system.

I have been reading this and other forums and see most people go for Receivers made by Onkyo, Yamaha or Denon and everyone seems to be against Sony receivers or equipment in general. Same is the case for in the box systems..people opt for Onkyo or Denon.

I went to circuit city today just to look at what's available as far as receivers first..lets take for example the Onkyo TXR604 Receiver it costs around 499 bucks (more than my whole system ) and the rating is around 90 w per channel. I looked a other systems and they were all around the same specs. I looked at Yamaha which is supposed to be top of the line and they're rated @ 110w per channel..same as my cheapo system!

My question is...wouldn't I be shooting myself in the foot by "upgrading" from an entry level "in the box" system which is rated at 110w per channel to an Onkyo (or Yamaha, Denon etc..) rated at 90w per channel and lower overall total wattage?

While at Circuit city I also looked at other "in a box" systems and found another Sony rated at 900w total watts power! for about 400 bucks!

Am I missing something here? why would a more powerful sony in the box system be so cheap compared to an Onkyo in the box or just buying separately when these other brands offer less power?? I can't believe Sony's quality can be so bad that people would opt for less power just to get something that's not Sony?

I want something that'll be powerful and decently clear...I am finding hard to understand what the fascination is with these brands when they don't seem to offer more (or even the same) as a "cheap" Sony system or Receiver.

Sorry for the long post but I am really trying to find out what I'm not seeing...
 

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Certain mass distributed brands grossly inflate their power ratings..

Sony is one of the most guilty, they may claim 100W/CH yet actually puts out 25W/CH..


The Sony may suffice fine for general listening, but knowledgible users move up to higher performance brands.. Also a hometheater-in-the-box always uses inexpensive, lower quality loudspeakers, so here again there is a multitude of higher performance loudspeakers available..


My suggestion would be that you should go to one of the more experienced specialist in your local area to audition some other alternatives.. And if you have a knowledgible friend he may offer some input as well..


Note that Circuit City and Best Buy typically only handle the lower performance brands though the Magnolia stores owned by Best Buy do carry some of the step-up brands of AVRs and loudspeakers..
 

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I knew you were gonna own Sony before i read this post. I'm not nescasarily bashing sony, but i've owned a Sony receiver in the past, not good. All but ES line are WAY over-rated power wise. They might get their printed power spec with 1 channel driven @1k, but 5 channels driven they are down to about a 1/4 of that. As was posted earlier, most major mfg's are guilty of this ,at least on their lower end stuff, but Sony is by far the most guilty.
 

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This chart is over 5 years old but these are ratings of some receivers actual power vs mfr rated power. You can see some manufactures like HK and NAD actually provide more power than rated whereas some other clearly overstate their ratings.

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...1/ratevsac.htm


HTIB manufacturers are generally guilty of this because their target market is less knowledgeable about audio equipment and numbers mean everything to them. So they all shoot for the 100 watts per channel barrier in their marketing. In all honesty they are nowhere close to that.
 

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There is no standard way to measure power. Manufacturers come up with their own methodology. The only semi-accurate use for power measurements is to compare products from the same maker. Even then, they can vary greatly. EX. A car stereo that fits in your dash, has a built in CD, tuner, etc. and claims to have 50wx4 is ridiculous. Notice an amp from the same maker with the same power claim is twice the size, has monster heat sinks, and costs just as much if not more.

Reality is those stereos have maybe 10wx4. Same with home stuff. Power ratings are posted as general guides, not hard numbers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbateman /forum/post/0


Hey guys,

While at Circuit city I also looked at other "in a box" systems and found another Sony rated at 900w total watts power! for about 400 bucks!

Am I missing something here?

Yes. For example, an audio receiver or amplifier that can really produce some amount of power P at the outputs to the loudspeakers (where the rated power is supposedly measured) is probably drawing at least P/0.45 from the wall socket. (Some amplifier types like "class D", are more efficient, but those are used only in a few home AV receivers, like Panasonic.)


What does that imply? 900 watts at output -> 900/0.45 = 2000 watts from wall socket. But the circuit that the receiver is plugged into is probably rated at 15 amps, or 1800 watts, so you would trip the circuit breaker before you got to 900 watts at the receiver output. Even with nothing else running off that 15 amp circuit (TV, lighting, and so on). That gives you an idea of how realistic the Sony claim is. (Actually, the receiver has built-in current limiting circuitry that limits the output power even further.)


Another way to put it: Sony's claim is like my saying that I can broadjump 900 feet. (Well sure I could, in a long sequence of smaller jumps
)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriuslyCold /forum/post/0


92TripleBlack perhaps you have not heard of Class-D amps? - they are used in car stereos quite a bit

True. Almost all stand alone amps in cars are Class B. And head units use Class D amps. But in the end, this is misleading to the end consumer as they see 45x4 watts. I can't count the number of times when I was working as an installer that people thought there wasn't a difference. And if you compare premium maker amps to crappy makers, there is a huge difference. A good JL audio amp would crush say a sony amp of the same rating.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92TripleBlack /forum/post/0


Almost all stand alone amps in cars are Class B. And head units use Class D amps.

I've never worked in the business but I have owned and installed some powerful systems in my cars. FWIW most car amps are class A/B and class D amps are for subwoofers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbateman /forum/post/0


Hey guys,

I have a newbie question that has me stumped.

Don't worry about power ratings. Twice the power makes a barely audible difference in volume. Worry about brand, connections, and price. For $400 search the internet for websites that carry Onkyo or Yamaha HTIB. Any of those systems will sound way better and louder than what you have now.
 
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